Igali wins Lou Marsh Trophy

Daniel Igali, the wrestler who won Olympic gold and then knelt down to kiss the Canadian flag, has been named winner of the Lou Marsh Trophy.

The trophy has been awarded annually by the Toronto Star since 1936 to Canada's outstanding athlete.

Igali's journey to the Olympic podium began in the Nigerian village where he was one of 21 children.

He became a Canadian citizen in 1998 and won the world championship last year.

The 26-year-old from Surrey, B.C., defeated Russian Arsen Gitinov to win the 69-kilogram freestyle class at the Sydney Games.

It was Canada's first-ever Olympic wrestling gold.

The other five Marsh finalists were LPGA golfer Lorie Kane, St. Louis Blues defenceman Chris Pronger, New Jersey Devils defenceman Scott Stevens, PGA golfer Mike Weir and triathlete Simon Whitfield.

Also considered were wheelchair racer Jeff Adams, Dallas Mavericks guard Steve Nash, triathlete Peter Reid and paralympic swimmer Jessica Sloan.

The award was voted upon by Steve Tustin and Garth Woolsey of the Toronto Star, Steve McAllister of the Globe and Mail, Neil A. Campbell of, Scott Morrison of the Toronto Sun, Rod Black of CTV, Brian Williams of CBC, Martine Gaillard of Headline Sports and Neil Davidson of The Canadian Press.

The selection committee was chaired by veteran Olympian Silken Laumann, a winner of the award in 1991.